Ringgit strengthens against US dollar

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 19): The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar today as the risk appetite of investors improved following the rise in crude oil prices.

At 9 am, the local note was quoted at 4.0550/0600 versus the greenback from yesterday's close of 4.0570/0610.

A dealer said market sentiment also improved following US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s assurance of a gradual approach in raising interest rates.

"The risk-on sentiment has encouraged investors to invest in riskier assets, such as the stock market, which subsequently strengthened the local currency.

“Other than that, higher crude oil prices which saw the benchmark Brent Crude increase to US$72.99 per barrel at 9 am today, also supported the ringgit’s performance as Malaysia is a net exporter of oil and gas,’ he added.

The ringgit, however, traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

It weakened against the Singapore dollar to 2.9694/9735 from 2.9656/9690, was lower against the yen to 3.5968/6022 from 3.5909/5957, and slid against the pound to 5.3031/3101 from 5.2863/2931 on Wednesday.

Vis-a-vis the euro, the ringgit also fell to 4.7257/7323 from 4.7155/7217.